It has come to light that Adare Manor’s confirmation to host the 2026 Ryder Cup was not all plain sailing; the attempted coup even getting a little ‘dodgy’ at times, according to Paul McGinley.
In the end, it is believed that the success of James Sugrue in capturing the Amateur Championship and then Shane Lowry in brilliantly winning The Open were the things that seemed to sway the vote in favour of Adare Manor.
McGinley, the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain, sat on the Ryder Cup Committee that helped choose the famed Co. Limerick course.
“It’s a great thrill,” said McGinley speaking to my colleague Martin Dempster at The Scotsman at this week’s Senior Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
“There have been a lot of rumours about it the last year. I was involved a bit and it didn’t get over the line easily. A lot of hard negotiations took place.
“Four, five, six weeks ago, things were a little bit dodgy, but some hard negotiations happened in the last month and Irish success obviously helped.”
The fact that some 235,000 spectators, nearly 70% of those Irish-born, attended The Open clearly helped and with the icing on the cake being Lowry capturing golf’s oldest major.
“Yeah, we are on a run, aren’t we,” added McGinley.
“We won the Amateur, follow that on a month later with Shane and such a great win for him, the Irish Open at Lahinch and now the Ryder Cup. Stars are shining on Ireland for sure.
“To have such a big high-profile event on the horizon is something to look forward to. In life, we all like something to look forward to, and certainly the country of Ireland is looking forward very much to 2026.”
Adare Manor, which is owned by JP McManus, underwent an extensive renovation two years ago and has been earning rave reviews, led by Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and McGinley when this journalist joined the foursome in May last year.
“JP has created something amazing down there and it got voted best hotel in the world last year,” observed McGinley.
“Tom Fazio golf course, I was involved with Pádraig in the design of it and went down and had a look at what he was doing and gave some feedback.
“I think it’s a great platform to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world now, you’d have to say.
“There’s a lot of competition to get the Ryder Cup to a country, and certainly from a European perspective, there’s a lot of competition out there and yes, JP has created a fabulous platform for us, but the Irish Government has stepped up to the plate for it to happen, and thankfully they did.”